Friday, May 6, 2011

I Just May be Turning into a Helicopter Mama

I used to love watching scary movies and TV shows - the creepier and more suspenseful, the better. And then I moved into my first apartment by myself after college and realized that watching movies and shows about single females being kidnapped from their apartments, followed off the subway, or having hidden cameras stuck in their air vents by creepy landlords might not be the best way to induce a good night's sleep. Luckily in that first apartment all utilities were included in the rent, so leaving every single light on all night long wasn't problematic (for me at least!).

Since becoming a mama, there is a new type of TV/movie scenario I need to avoid: basically, anything that involves children. Maybe it's the hormones, but it seems like every single show or movie I watch involves children being hurt, abandoned, kidnapped... or worse. And it gives me heart palpitations. I think it just hits too close to home. What used to be sad or troublesome now stays with me for days on end - I can't get those horrible images out of my head and worry about not only the safety of my own children, but every child I know! Yes, I acknowledge this is a little crazy. But it's the truth.

Last week Netflix sent us "Babble" - you know, the 2006 movie with Brad Pitt that was nominated for Best Picture? Neither Daniel or I had seen it, but were excited to watch. Well, it takes a bit of concentration to understand that movie and connect the dots. But I just couldn't do it. Why? Because every storyline involved children being put in harm's way - Moroccan children shooting guns and feeling guilty when an accident happens, US children being taken into Mexico and then left in the desert, and even a teenage girl in Japan with more issues than I can write about here. Every time a new scene started, I was worrying about the children in the last scene. My heart was aching as if they were real people, in a real situation. Last night's Law and Order: SVU involved an abandoned baby - and I almost had to leave the room because it was so heart-wrenching. And you know it's bad when I can't even watch Wonder Pets on Nick Jr. without tearing up at the thought of the Baby Panda not being able to find his Mama.

I guess it's because I have a new perspective since becoming a mother - I now feel the constant need to protect, defend and nurture babies and children. It's not out of left field for mamas to feel this way, but I never thought it would hit me so hard. I definitely think it's magnified by the hormones, but I have serious visions of becoming a Helicopter Mom - hoovering over my child's every move to keep them safe and protected. I always knew I would be a tad bit overprotective. That was a given. But I think it has taken on new form. Miss Paige was playing in one of those Fisher-Price cars the other day and my mind immediately jumped 15 years ahead, to when she is driving a real car. And even though I have a decade and a half to prepare myself, it's terrifying to think of my baby out on her own. Phew... I'm getting myself in a tizzy just writing about it : )

And so, it is with new perspective on what it means to conceive, carry and raise a baby from infancy that I must now declare: Miss Paige, you will live at home forever. With mommy and daddy. And your little brother. And if necessary, we may become Amish. Or people who live in a tent in the woods.Or I may deem it necessary to form a family band - a la The Partridge Family - so we will be forced to be together forever (contractually, legally binding of course - for the sake of the band).

Just kidding... kind of : )